Black Friday gaming deals: what to expect and how to get the best sales offers

Steam on laptop

Being a gamer nowadays can be expensive, making Black Friday and Cyber Monday more important than ever. It’s been quite a year for gaming with big hitters such as Marvel’s Spider-Man, Forza Horizon 4 and God of War storming the game charts, Microsoft and Sony announcing they’re working on next generation consoles and the Nintendo Switch climbing to new third-party heights.

So what can gaming fans expect from Black Friday and Cyber Monday? It’s likely we’ll be seeing big savings on consoles and physical games from retailers such as Argos, Currys, Amazon, John Lewis and Currys. 

The announcement of next generation consoles will likely mean these retailers are likely to have a backlog of PS4 Pro, Xbox One X and Nintendo Switches to offer deals on - so if you have waited until now to pick up one then you’re going to be in luck because they often come as bundles with a reduced rate.

We’ve scoured through the deals of Black Friday and Cyber Monday past and put this handy guide to let you know what you can expect from this year’s gaming offerings. 

When are Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2018?

Black Friday started in the US, and takes place on the Friday immediately after the Thanksgiving holiday, so this year it’s November 23, 2018. Cyber Monday is immediately after Black Friday, so will fall on November 26, 2018.

How to get the best gaming deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

We typically see deals from the big retailers from the start November. Over the course of November we will see big discounts on bundles as well as the occasional mega deal.

We typically see deals from the big retailers from the start November. Over the course of November we will see big discounts on bundles as well as the occasional mega deal bring in a landslide of competing deals.

What sort of gaming deals will we see?

It’s likely we will see big discounts from retailers such as Currys, Amazon, Argos and John Lewis, who tend to reduce the price of a heap of stock including console bundles, gaming accessories such as headsets and keyboards, online gaming membership such as PS Plus, gaming laptops and physical games. However, physical game discounts tend to focus more on releases from earlier in the year than the latest AAA titles.

Last year we didn't see much in the way of Nintendo Switch discounts and bundles (as the console only launched in March), so we could be seeing an all-time low price for Nintendo Switch bundles. However, Nintendo rarely discount hardware and the best deals tend to be lightning deals which sell out in seconds. Luckily we tend to find out about any Nintendo Switch Amazon deals early, so keep an eye on this page. 

What was on offer last year?

Last year Amazon offered big savings on Xbox One S and PS4 Pro bundles, however the Nintendo Switch (which had only launched a few months prior) didn't see a big price change.

In addition, Amazon offered reduced prices on PS Plus annual membership and physical editions of games such as Overwatch, Resident Evil 7 and WWE 2K18. Likewise, Argos reduced the price of its PS4 Pro and Xbox One S bundles alongside physical games such as Call of Duty: World War II.

Meanwhile Currys offered deals on Xbox OneS and PS4 Pro bundles, alongside savings on PS VR bundles, gaming laptops and gaming headsets, and John Lewis reduced prices of VR and console bundles alongside gaming laptops.

Best Black Friday gaming deals from 2017

Amazon

PS4 500GB COD WW2 (Hard Bundle) + GT Sport + Hidden Agenda (Playlink) and Turtle Beach Recon 150 Headset

Last year, Amazon offered a 500GB PlayStation 4 alongside the recently released Call of Duty World War II, GT Sport, PlayLink title Hidden Agenda and a Turtle Beach Recon 150 Headset for just £249.99 (down from £315.98). A great bundle for those wanting to jump into PS4 gameplay.


Argos

Xbox One S 500GB Bundle deals

Argos had several Xbox One S bundle deals available. Perhaps the best was the slimline Xbox One S with 500GB of storage and Rocket League Blast-Off for £30 off.

Currys

PS4 Pro with Gran Turismo Sport, Call of Duty: WWII and Fallout 4

Currys offered some great deals on Xbox One S and PS4 Pro bundles last Black Friday. Some console bundles were less than £200.

John Lewis

MSI GS60 6QE Ghost Pro Gaming Laptop

John Lewis had a heap of gaming accessories and hardware discounted last year, one of the highlights was the £319 knocked off this Ghost Pro Gaming laptop.

What we would like to see discounted

Here are a few items we would ideally like to see receive Black Friday gaming discounts:

Nintendo Switch bundles

The Nintendo Switch continues to grow in popularity since its release last year. We seen very few big discounts on Switch bundles last year as the hybrid console was still in infancy and the number of games on offer were limited.

So this Black Friday and Cyber Monday should provide the perfect opportunity to pick up a Nintendo Switch, games and accessories on discount - if Nintendo play ball. 

MSI GS65 Stealth Gaming Laptop

The MSI GS65 Stealth is our favourite gaming laptop of the year, so we're hoping the slim and powerful hardware will get discounted from its £2K price to something a bit less eye-watering.

Forza Horizon 4 , Marvel's Spider-Man or God of War

It's not often we see huge discounts on the biggest titles of the year but hopefully we'll see a bit of a price drop or their inclusion in console bundles.

What the expert says

We asked TechRadar deals editor Brendan Griffiths what he thinks will be the biggest gaming deals to come out of Black Friday and Cyber Monday:

"I think the deals everyone will be looking for this year will be looking at the 4K generations of consoles. Microsoft has been playing catch up with the PS4 and PS4 Pro for a long time now and Black Friday is a great chance for them to make up some ground given they bother to compete this year. The Xbox One X was simply too new last year and I don't recall it getting any decent bundles beyond one free game on top of the £450 RRP. Things haven't actually been much better since either. The console also sometimes drops to £400 on its own, but if you want a game or two, prices have been stuck around the £450 mark most of the year.

"Ideally, we're keeping an eye out for a big discount on both the hardware and games bundled together for well under £400. To get our attention we really could do with seeing something like the Xbox One X, FIFA 19, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and Assassin's Creed Odyssey for about £350. It's a big discount to hope for, but Microsoft can't keep banging on about having the most powerful console around when Sony's PS4 Pro isn't too far behind technically and is supported by a wealth of PS4 exclusives. 

"So the PS4 Pro? Don't quite expect anything to match last years' console bundle with FIFA 18 for £199.99 at Currys. That ended up being a misprice (it was supposed to be a regular PS4 not the Pro). Although, to be fair Currys did end up honoring the deal to anyone that bought it in time (and complained about it being quietly canceled with no explanation). Generally, around £300 with a new game or two was the best we saw. Prices this summer though haven't been great, plus stock has been a little thin on the ground (especially in the US), which has kept prices high. We've seen a few bundles with a free game like the new God of War or FIFA 19 for £350, but the Pro will be two years old in November, so it'd be great to see it bundled with a couple of new games like Spider-Man and Assassin's Creed Odyssey maybe for £250, but £300 might be a more realistic price given this summer's prices and the fact the Pro is going to sell like crazy anyways.

Ideally, we're keeping an eye out for a big discount on both the hardware and games bundled together for well under £400.

Brendan Griffiths - Deals Editor

"As for the regular non-4K PS4 Slim and Xbox One S, I'd expect some decent bundles for these just under £200. Microsoft seems to be phasing out the 500GB models in favour of the 1TB ones, but without a price hike. You could get one with a free game (usually a download) for around £230-£250 over summer so getting under the £200 barrier, hopefully with another game would be something to jump at if you want the Xbox One S. The PS4 Slim stopped going down in price a while back and summer saw single-game bundles generally stick at £250 (for a 500GB console too), which is about £30 more than the prices we were getting used to beforehand. Another year of top exclusives hasn't stopped Sony dominated the scene once again though.

"With parents on the march for great deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the Nintendo Switch is bound to star too. Amazon Prime Day deals for the Switch were, to put it mildly, absolutely awful. Overpriced, stuffed with accessories you probably didn't want, with the smallest of discounts possible. The Switch bundle discounts really are slow outside of Black Friday generally. The console alone is still around £280, sometimes with a free cheap game that you arguably don't want (Lego Worlds), or one you've played on other formats (Rayman Legends). 

Last year's best Black Friday deal was for the limited edition Mario console (comes with two Mario-red Joy-Cons) and Super Mario Odyssey for £279.99 (you were looking at £330 usually. Given the Switch is probably going to be a massive seller regardless of price in November and December, we should probably manage our expectations of big discounts. We're not going under that £200 barrier. Outside of any crazy lightning deals, I think £250, hopefully with a couple of Nintendo's exclusives like Zelda, Mario Odyssey or Splatoon 2, is what we're hoping to see. The new Pokemon Let's Go games for the Switch will have only just been released around Black Friday so discounts could be quite rare there, but I think a Switch and Pokemon game bundle around £300 would be a decent offer to snap up for Pokemon fans (you can order special edition bundles now for around £340)."

Stick with TechRadar to get the best Black Friday deals

All that aside, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are going to see fleets of deals and plummeting prices across all sorts of consumer tech: everything from laptops and iPads to smartphones, Kindles, and streaming sticks.

For all the latest info and deals we've scoured from across the net, keep an eye on TR Deals on Twitter and make sure to check out the rest of the site.

We will keep you updated with all the latest Black Friday and Cyber Monday gaming deals as they are announced.